The garden, a private institution founded in 1937, covers 59 hectares (145 acres). Most of the specimens are planted outside but there are also three glasshouses, an extensive shade house, and a small facility for maintaining tropical cacti. The garden's cactus collection comprises 1296 taxa, the origin of 841 (65%) documented. Significant collections at the garden include those of E. F. Anderson, M. Baker, H. Earle, R. Engard, H. S. Gentry, W. Hodgson, P. C. Hutchison, F. Kattermann, G. Lindsay, B. Parfitt, D. Pinkava, J. Rebman, L. Slauson (Ecker), and A. D. Zimmerman. The garden is a member of the Center for Plant Conservation and is responsible for maintaining living plants and seed collections of many of the threatened and endangered cacti of the southwestern United States. Seed banks and living ex situ collections have been established for the following cacti: Coryphantha ramillosa, C. recurvata, C. robustispina, Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii, Echinocereus chisoensis var. chisoensis, E. viridiflorus subsp. davisii, Echinomastus erectocentrus, E. mariposensis, Epithelantha bokei, Escobaría minima, E. robbinsorum, E. sneedii subsp. sneedii, Mammillaria thornberi, and Peniocereusgreggii var. transmontanus.
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